tv Titans at the Table Bloomberg July 18, 2015 7:30am-8:01am EDT
>> he may be the most influential man in san francisco. mark benioff has transformed the way that businesses do business. he has pioneered the flight to the cloud and a new model for philanthropy along the way. he launched a career at apple, became a star salesman at oracle. then he went on to start one of oracle's biggest competitors. joining me, from dreamforce 2014, mark benioff. so great to be here at one of the biggest conferences in the world.
how many people are here today? >> 145,000 registered to attend physically. 3 million have already attended online. >> i will never forget the first time i saw your keynote. it was like seeing moses part the red sea. how much practice goes into that? >> this year, i had not been on tour, so it was a new show, and i had to practice it quite a bit. >> you announced a cloud-based analytic platform. what does is give to your customers that they did not have? >> analytics is a category that is rich for innovation. a lot of companies have sat on their kingdoms too long and kept the status quo going. there's a long list of companies. one of those areas as analytics. it is a new way to look at it with mobile visualization,
analytics for the rest of us. >> there are myths that are boiled down into legend. what is the myth of mark and what is the reality? >> the reality is that this took a long time. they underestimate what you can do in a year and what you can do in a decade. in this industry, if you focus and have a clear vision, you can have a phenomenal i come, and that is what we are doing. >> you started your first company when you're 15. the new went to apple and worked under steve jobs. what was the most important thing you learn from him? >> passion. steve jobs is one of the most passionate people i ever met. in 1984, i was programming assembly language, the language at the core of the microprocessor, down at apple headquarters. we were writing the first software for the macintosh.
steve jobs came storming down the halls, motivating the developers. his energy was infectious. everybody wanted to work as hard as they could because he was there and he was working so hard. i learned that, i learned that you have to be all in. that is something i try to bring to salesforce. >> how confident are you in the future of apple under tim cook? >> i think he is doing a great job. we have seen great products this month with the new iphone. i have a six plus. apple is a great company, the greatest story in american business. look, steve was the greatest of the greatest, we all know that. being the follow-on will be tough. >> steve jobs and larry ellison were personal friends, but how were the different as bosses?
>> both are phenomenal visionaries. both have a feel for where the industry is going and work hard with teams to create that reality. i think that where they are a little bit different is there a was maybe a little more of a suit and tie person, steve was always in his jeans and black turtleneck. their styles were remarkably the same. i think that is why they got along so well together. >> in what way? >> it gets back to that passion. they were passionate, dedicated, focused. the number one issue for both of them, their business. nothing was more important to steve than apple, nothing is more important to larry than oracle. there is a message in that. for both of those executives, the number one thing in their lives was their work. we all know that larry ellison
>> when larry ellison stepped down as ceo, you tweeted "there has been and always will be one ceo at oracle." what you mean by that? how optimistic are you about his replacement? >> i am sure they will continue to do a good job. that we all know that larry ellison is a force of nature, and that what he wants, he will get. whoever is the ceo will have to bend to larry's desires. >> larry gave you money to start salesforce. >> he was our first investor. >> salesforce has become the main competitor of oracle.
what did salesforce do right that oracle did wrong? >> we focused on a cloud, but instead of delivering books or search results, we are delivering business functionality. we have stayed focused and dedicated for 15 years. we have achieved great success. there is a message in business which is that you have to be dedicated. >> did oracle miss the cloud? >> oracle has a different business. when i left, they took me into their office and said, mark, it is a good thing that you're leaving oracle. he said, it will be difficult to do a brand-new technology model and business model, because everything from the way that you deliver the software to the way
that you recognize the revenue is completely different with cloud computing. >> you and larry ellison have had a rivalry and a partnership. what is your relationship like behind the scenes? >> we have a great relationship. i just saw him on sunday night. we are always hugging and kissing. [laughter] >> frenemies? >> we have been frenemies four years. i have had great mentors in my life, my parents and grandparents, steve jobs, colin powell. they dramatically influenced me in philanthropy in a business. i do not think anyone is influenced in more than larry ellison. i would not be the ceo i that i am today, salesforce would not be the company that it is. not just because of his money but because of everything that he teaches me and i learned from him.
>> big tech companies are splitting up. why is that happening, and will we see more of it? >> i think there are a lot of different reasons why that is happening. one might beat that the companies are just too big. there are so big that they become unmanageable. you want them to become smaller units. smaller units are easier to manage. in an organization like hp, it is solomon's baby. they will have one for each and that will be a great strategy for them. i think the same thing is a great strategy for ebay. a lot of other companies will follow that. >> is oracle one of those companies? >> i think that with oracle, that is difficult. number one, the distribution will be the same no matter what. oracle has to innovate at a higher rate. >> salesforce has been a big buyer. how do you continue to buy companies without losing focus or getting bloated? >> acquisitions are hard no
matter who you are. after doing 25 acquisitions over the last five years, acquisitions are hard. but you cannot transform your company. but they bring incredible people into your company, and if you can nurture them, you can get results. the number one thing is that, as a ceo, you have to choose what you will be in. i only have so much time. where i spend my time is super important. i kind of divide my time into four quadrants. in a certain quadra, my transformation quadrant, that is where i spend the majority of my time. the things that, if i do not do them, they will not get done. there will be other things, nurturing things that are coming
two or five years from now or things around the efficiency of the business, that i do not have to be as involved in. those transformational things, i have to pick and choose carefully. and that i can really deliver a great result. >> google delivers moonshot technologies. how much time and how many resources do you devote to innovating from within? >> for us, that is what it is about. when i sit there with my teams, we are figuring out -- and i think wave is an example. we wanted to build a product that would be for everyone of the company, not just analytics. number two, that it would run rate on these mobile devices. not just this platform. the third thing is, behind us are a lot of developers know a lot of software ceos.
they want to build on that platform and build their own companies. so we build a platform as well. by doing great, great, great democratization, great consumerization, and then a great platform, where delivering a new product. >> what is the salesforce strategy to get into china? >> they are a super important market. we work closely with customers there. we have to work very closely with the government. all of come together to create something in china. >> the nsa revelations, i wonder how much that impact your business, because you have sensitive data. will you have to have one in every important country? >> yes, but for another reason heard as the cloud is going mainstream, every president of every country want to have their own cloud.
angela merkel wants the german cloud. francois hollande wants the french cloud. abe wants the japan cloud. >> they want a cloud maker. >> they should have one. they should have their own clouds. every important country in the world will have their own clouds. they will all interoperate, or they can have their own local versions. that is my job. >> how does that work for me security and privacy perspective? >> for me security and privacy perspective, we use the best practices in the industry. i will say something that you already know, and that every viewer will now, there is no finish line when it comes to security. we are in a difficult and dynamic situation for cyber security. if you take any position other than that it is a tough environment, we taken super
>> you have sold tens of billions of shares in the last year. why? >> i have sold a lot of stock over the last 10 years, and diversified out of a percentage of my stock. but i still have a large position in salesforce. i am either of the largest shareholder of the largest shareholders. >> no shareholder should be worried about your competence? >> as one of the largest shareholders, i have never been more excited. >> you created the 1-1-1 model,
giving it 1% to philanthropy. why is this the best way? >> on day one, we want 1% of our equity, 1% of our profit, and 1% of our time into a public charity. it was easy because we had no stock, no employees, no product. now that it is paid out, we have delivered more than a 680,000 hours of community service, $70 million in grants to nonprofits around the world, including big grants locally to public schools and hospitals, and -- this is what i am most excited about. more than 20,000 nonprofits and ngos use salesforce for free. >> you are san francisco and born and raised. why is giving back so important to you? >> because i knew i would never
have real joy and happiness and fulfillment in my life without giving. i had already been through a pretty awesome ride at oracle. 13 years. i joined in 1986 to 1999. i had seen the trajectory, but what i recognized was that just building a product and selling it to the customer will not make you happy and fulfilled. as an executive, i had seen that area and i saw was that if we could tie philanthropy into our business, we would have not just a good finance result, technical result. i was perhaps too confident in my ability as a technical leader. but i wanted to wrestle filmic, to have fulfillment joy in my and life. i knew i would have to do something philanthropic. >> some people of criticized
your efforts as marketing. how do you respond to that? >> it is just amazing to me that anybody can say that. because we are so dedicated, over a decade and a half, to helping other people. we are so through-and-through that this is what we are about and what we want to leave behind. at the end of the day, i am not sure that people will remember salesforce or cloud computing. but i know that they will remember the work we did in the world while we were a successful business. and all the things we did to give back. and that is what is important to me. >> and equality protests have broken out in san francisco. google bosses have been attacked. you have become the social conscience of the tech industry. you have said the tech industry has to do more. how happy are you with the response? >> i feel very aligned with the protesters.
i will tell you, what is exciting for me is that it gives me a vehicle to say to companies, give. do more. if you want to, somehow, quality sources, show them that you are not just extracting value but giving value back. our corporate leaders are phenomenal leaders. if they can partner with the mayors and superintendents, they can do a lot of good. the more that we can make that happen, the more result we will get. we see that in san francisco and we will prove that. >> you have been disappointed, haven't you, in terms of the response of some of these companies? why are we seeing this? >> i can give you great examples of where i tell people that we should do more and i see them fully give and go all in. then i can give the example of a famous ceo who i will not say on your show and say don't you want to give back?
and he wrote back and said, what have i been given? i created all of this. and i was like, i am taken aback by that. it is a point of view. the reality is that we are all working together to make this a better place. if we do not work together, it will not happen. taking that position is not going to anyone anywhere. >> you are active politically. your posted fundraisers for president obama. how satisfied are you with his presidency? >> i am not a democrat or republican. i give money to a lot of politicians, including president obama and a lot of his competitors. i am an american, i want to advocate for my causes, and programs like that give me
access to them so that i can say why we should do things like philanthropy, increase cyber security -- >> how closely are you keeping an eye on the startup community and what could become the next salesforce question mark >> salesforce? >> i spent a lot of time on startups. i love spending time with them. i only get a limited amount of time. in my next life, whatever that is, i would like to spend more time helping entrepreneurs. >> what is next for mark benioff? >> i would love to spend more time with entrepreneurs and with philanthropy. both of those are highly constrained because i have a day job, which is running
salesforce. i love that. i love the job, i love the industry, i love making the people behind the happy when they come to dreamforce. >> we talked about your mentors. how does mark benioff want to be remembered? >> if i leave anything behind, it should not be cloud or the democratization of software. it should be that the true joy in life comes from giving. you can be in business, you can be a ceo and have a great company, and that can be one of the greatest vehicles for giving that you ever have. use that platform to give back, and you are going to not just have great success, but you are going to be happier than you will be successful. >> mark benioff, thank you for joining us. this is been a phenomenal opportunity. >> thank you for coming to dreamforce. i hope you will come back next year. ♪
>> i was told when i started that i could not be a director because i was a woman. i have been directing for many years. but certainly not as frequently as i would have had i been a man. >> i was going into meetings on projects with people as a featured director that would work with academy award nominated actors. i should have been taken seriously in these meetings. but i wasn't. it was always a sense of, can you really do this? that a man could do it better. >> people would say things like you ul